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January 15, 2014     Newsletter #28

Dear Coaches, Players, Friends,

Today's Quotes
"One of the highest compliments you can be paid is that you are a person of your word." - John Wooden
"What you are as a person is far more important than what you are as a basketball player." - John Wooden

Today's theme is "Developing a Rebounding Mind-Set "

After years of coaching at the high school varsity level, I have come to believe that players must begin to develop a rebounding "mind-set" at an early age. Just like learning ball-handling, dribbling, shooting and other skills, they have to be taught the importance of rebounding and rebounding techniques early in their development. I see too many kids coming up on varsity that don't box-out and don't have that aggressive loose-ball mind-set. We spend time doing rebounding drills, teaching boxing-out and rebounding techniques, and encouraging and admonishing players about it, and many players still don't "get it". I believe this mind-set is something that needs to be ingrained, the earlier in a player's development the better. Get with your youth, middle school, freshman and JV coaches and make this a priority in their teaching, so that when they are at the varsity level, they already have that mind-set.

Some years ago, I witnessed a team win our state championship mainly on the strength of their rebounding. They had only one true offensive "scorer", but you could not out-rebound nor out-defend them... and as coaches we all know that those are the things that win championships. Why is this? I think it's because when you are under the pressure of playing for a championship, players might tighten up on offense and oftentimes otherwise great shooters and good offensive teams can't seem to make an outside shot. Whereas with rebounding and defense, these skills will not as easily break down under pressure and excitement... "It takes no talent to hustle."

To help develop this rebounding attitude, as coach you must every day stress that rebounding is a very high priority item for you. In addition to rebounding drills, have the mind-set that every drill is a rebounding drill... once the shot goes up in any drill (be it an offensive, defensive, shooting, or other drill) players must box-out and rebound... and "finish the drill!" When players don't box-out and rebound and don't finish drills, have them run. You'll hate to do it, but you may have to bench your star shooter for a minute or two if he/she is not boxing-out and rebounding. You have to send them the message. The best situation is when your players buy into it, are mentally tough, and take pride and ownership of their rebounding, and demand it of each other.

See Rebounding... this article includes:

* Defensive Rebounding
* Offensive Rebounding
* Team Rebounding Concepts
* Boxing Out on a Free-Throw
* Zone Defense Rebounding

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Till next time...
Best wishes,
Dr. Jim Gels, aka "Coach Gels"
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